Vogel wants Pacers to focus on execution, not officiating


VIDEO: Frank Vogel addresses the media the day after Indiana’s Game 4 loss

MIAMI – After their 102-90 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, there was much griping from the Indiana Pacers about the officiating. Paul George referred to “home cooking” for the Miami Heat, while David West said his team had to learn the “new rules.”

The Pacers are down 3-1, facing elimination in Game 5 at home on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). And desperate times can call for desperate measures.

But less than 12 hours Monday’s deflating loss, Pacers coach Frank Vogel tried to get his team to refocus. His Tuesday morning message to his players before they flew back to Indianapolis was to “worry about what we can control. We know we’re going to have to play through adversity on the road in the playoffs. Our guys just need to put their focus on what we’re doing.”

“We can’t control calls. We got to control our turnovers, our shot selection, our passing, our defense.”

Tuesday’s focus was on offensive execution. The Pacers scored 90 points in a slow-paced game on Monday, but put themselves in a hole with an ugly first quarter and benefitted from the Heat taking their foot of the gas with a 23-point lead in the fourth.

Indiana looked rushed and flustered most of the night. The Miami defense has been increasingly active and physical as the series has gone along. And, as we’ve seen often with this matchup, the Pacers haven’t been able to handle it.

Instead of complaining about the officiating, Roy Hibbert was complaining about his lack of touches to ESPN after Game 4.

But Hibbert’s lack of touches is more about his teammates not being able to get him the ball than his coach not calling plays for him.

“Roy Hibbert’s hurt the Miami Heat more in the pick-and-roll game and on the glass in previous years,” Vogel said. “That’s where he’s put up his biggest numbers, while mixing in the post game. It’s not like he’s had success getting 20-30 post-ups a game. So that’s how we’re trying to utilize him and they’re doing a great job with their hands and deflecting those passes.”

These teams have now played 28 times in the last three seasons. The Heat know exactly what the Pacers are trying to do offensively and they’ve been able to take away their primary and secondary options, as well as force the Pacers to play fast with occasional pressure in the backcourt. So Vogel believes that his team needs to be better with its improvisational execution.

“We got to play through randomness,” he said. “That’s what their defense forces. It takes you out, often times, of what you’re trying to do offensively. And you got to play through random action. You got to create good shots through random action. That’s what attacking the Miami Heat’s about.”

The other end of the floor may be the bigger issue for the Pacers right now. The matchup of the No. 1 defense of the regular season and the No. 1 offense of the playoffs has gone decidedly the way of the latter. More important than Hibbert’s zero points has been the lack of rim protection he’s been able to provide. The Heat have shot 69 percent in the paint in the series, compared to 55 percent in last year’s conference finals and 59 percent in four regular season meetings vs. Indiana.

But if the Pacers execute better offensively, they’ll be able to get their defense set and have a fighting chance to slow down the Miami onslaught … and a fighting chance to make this series interesting again.


VIDEO: GameTime on the Pacers’ struggles in Game 4

59 Comments

  1. TMac says:

    @Petrus…..there are probably more people out there that believe the Pacers can upset the Heat…probably not many, but they are out there I’m sure. Pacers are a very inconsistent team right now, so the chances of them winning three games against strong, fast paced Miami Heat is very slim…and I mean veeeery slim. Not only are they inconsistent, they are not mentally ready to challenge anybody for a championship. They do not even acknowledge their own faults when losing games….they blame it on everything else. You will not win a championship with that mindset and attitude I will tell you that. If the Pacers win game 5…9 times out of 10, they will lose to Miami in game 6. They struggle horribly when they are in Miami Land…and the Heat play their best in Miami Land. Pacers play better at home…but now they threw home court away unless they win game 6….which I just don’t see happening at all.

  2. squala96 says:

    The last time I checked, America has freedom of speech, so why can the league charge players and coaches for criticizing refs? Firstly, many officials have ruined the game with unnecessary calls and not whistling on obvious clashes between opponents. Then if they complain, they also have the power to issue technicals and even eject them regardless of reason. Referees have long been accused of deliberately missing calls or making them when they shouldn’t because of entertainment reasons, but they way they ran Game 3 between the Thunder and Spurs was just awful.

    But until this ‘cancer’ has been cured, Frank Vogel is right on the money when he urged his guys not to dwell on the refs’ decisions.

    • TMac says:

      NBA is a business……and just like any other business in America, the NBA has rules and codes their employees have to go by….if they break codes and rules they get in trouble…plain and simple. When you sign on the dotted line saying you will follow NBA rules and codes whether they are are new or old than that is what you have to do whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, they can hit the road. Is it dumb for players and coaches to get fined for criticizing the refs? Yep, but there is nothing I can do about it, so I don’t waste my time getting worked up about it. It’s not like it affects me any

  3. TMac says:

    @ Ryan……wrong, wrong, wrong…..look at the Pacers’ turnovers compared to the Heat’s……..and the Heat scored 20+ off those turnovers. It doesn’t matter if you have the highest shooting percentage because if you have a bunch of turnovers and allowed for those turnovers to be converted into monster points while the other team has virtually no sufficient turnovers, then that team is going to LOSE. I love that some people are looking at one line on the stat sheet….but just conveniently ignore the glaring turnover stat line and points off of turnovers stat line. C’mon bro. The difference in fouls called was because the Pacers were continuously INTENTIONALLY fouling the Heat in order to try to stop them from making easy shots. So by your logic, the Heat had every right to complain after game one?? The Heat had more FGs than the Pacers…and they had about the same shooting percentage as the Pacers. Game one was awful, right? The Heat got robbed, right?

  4. Ryan says:

    Well just to point out what George is referring to in regard to Game 4 and the series,
    1. While it may be true that overall for the series the fouls favor the pacers, James and Wade have not had more than 3 fouls called on them in any game and have not been in foul trouble at any time. Bosh was in the first 3 games, but wasn’t doing anything for them anyway
    2. Pacers had more FGs and a high FG percentage than Miami in Game 4, yet it was a slow out because of the free throw difference. You don’t often outshoot a team that you lose by double digits
    3. They call a technical foul on Hibbert for a place after the whistle where he was preventing a guy from scoring and getting points and the fould, yet later in the game Wade takes two steps from the top of the key after the whistle and gets a lay up, and they GIVE HIM THE BASKET AND THE FOUL……..just ridiculous.
    4. Stephenson did not touch Wade on the lay up in the 4th quarter that would have continued a role and cut the lead to 9, was still a game, but Wade throws his head back like he is hit and gets the call. Stephenson in game 3 is hit by Lebron playing D, “flops” and not only doesnt get the call but is fined later for flopping. If Stepenson flopped then so did Wade and he should be fined

    I thought the refs were awful in game 4. The pacers have not played well and they need to protect the ball better, play more intense, do many more things. You can call it whining if you want, but anyone that watches the NBA knows refs do respond to the players and coaches statements, its a game. When you lose a game by 23 that you end up scoring more FGs than the other team and shooting a higher percentage, I would be saying something too because it very likely will make a difference in how the next game is called. You can dismiss George’s comments as whining, but there were some legitmately horrible calls and this is why the NBA has the rep that it does with rumors of “fixing” and “helping” game outcomes, because of just the type of plays I mentioned

  5. daboylele says:

    i can’t beleived paul (home cooking) george made a stupid comments like that as a overrated like him he need to learned to behave himself, he’s lucky enough to be compared with super status likes lebron…

  6. Rick says:

    I guess the difference in foul calls in game one just slipped George’s mind. The Pacers made 22 more trips to the foul line in game one. I guess the Indiana “home cooking” wasn’t enough for him to remember. After game one you didn’t hear Miami crying about fouls, they knew they made stupid fouls. Indiana hasn’t gotten to the point yet where they know that they are making stupid fouls.
    I guess we will see if these comments will sway the refs tonight, but Paul George might be surprised at the calls tonight, nobody likes being called out like that, especially from a player who has yet to reach the level of a superstar.

    • #dwade#flash says:

      they got it from their coach, who talks so much and can not take themselves accountable

      VOGEL: you are the coach, you are the leader, hold your team accountable. You lead they follow, you talk too much!

  7. Erlo says:

    It’s funny. I have watched all the games, and I would say if they called this a “fair” game the Heat would be getting even more calls and the Pacers even less. Lebron is fouled just about every time down the court. You deal with it and play on if it’s not called.

  8. Jr. Samples says:

    All I can say is this team is soft like last year “Larry’s comments from last year” “I never thought they would go soft”. So what has changed? Too much rainbows, sunshine and puppy dogs BS from Vogal. You want a tough team? Get a tough coach. I hate the Heat but know sissy soft when I see it.

  9. NBAFAN says:

    Yes, it was definitely free throws, there’s no way following were any of the reasons for Loss:

    Turnovers: Miami 5, Fackers 14, Miami 20 points off turnovers
    Fast Break: Miami 10, Fackers 4
    Bosh schooling Fackers for 25
    Big DO-DO 0 points, Lance no points until late 4th quarter
    Biggest lead 23 Miami
    Stupid, stupid fouls by Fackers

    Wanna be superstars (PG can’t carry a team, at least not yet,) vs real superstars
    Immature vs champions

    Miami will eat em Alive, if they already havnt…

  10. Blake Hall says:

    I live in Indiana and I am a die hard Pacers fan, always have been always will be. But, I have to agree with a lot of people and say that enough is enough with blaming everyone else for their horrible game play. I often find myself screaming watching the TV at Paul George because he is supposed to be an all-star, but he isn’t carrying himself as such. You always face tough games on the road in the playoffs. Crying about it though isn’t going to help. Stop focusing so much on the things you “think” everyone else is doing wrong and focus on your own gameplay as a team. Last I checked basketball was a team sport, not an individual performance. And I hate to say it, but Miami knows what they’re doing as a team. Stop complaining and play basketball Pacers!

  11. NBAFAN says:

    Free Trows Taken in this series:

    Miami 87
    Indiana 94

    Miami called for 9 more fouls in the series,

    Just shut and stop complaining!

  12. Pétrus says:

    Am i the only pacers fan that actully believe the pacers can win this series?

    • TMac says:

      Probably not.

      • Pétrus says:

        If i’m not the only one, please, where are the real pacers fans? The ones who believe the Pacers can upset the Miami Heat? Remember, 8 teams in nba playoffs history have won a series coming down from 3-1 and remember, game 5 and a possible 7 are gonna be in indiana, so why this pacers can’t be the next team to win a series coming down from 3-1?

  13. sally says:

    They are very immature, they get fined because they are babies and want to blame everyone else. Maybe when you grow up you will be a good player, we’ll just wait.

  14. JBrown says:

    I love that ppl are blaming the refs.
    The #1 highlight SportsCenter and nba.com keep showing from game 4 is Lebron blowing past Paul George coast-to-coast after a defensive rebound with 1:20 left in the 3rd quarter. In that play George shoves Lebron with both hands. No foul was called on that play even though George was blatantly trying to foul him and 2 refs had eyes on the play.
    And on the dunk Bosch had over Scola with 8:20 left in the 2nd, you can clearly see Scola hit him on the arm. No foul called there either.
    If you want to win any game in any sport, you have to be good enough to beat the other team AND the refs.

  15. Brain32 says:

    Pacers crying about the calls? Have they watched the tape?
    Well I did and I can’t remember when was the last time I saw so many stupid, stupid, stupid fouls made in a pro game.
    For example James blows by Hill and Hill already step and a half behind decides it’s a good idea to slap James on the shoulder, slap, James.
    Can it possibly get more stupid? That’s asking, no, that’s begging for a three-point play.
    You can’t stop James by slapping, heck you can barely stop him with a rocket launcher and that’s a maybe but Hill(and later the veteran West) thought it was a great idea for some reason…
    Keeping a minimal cool head factor should be a must for a pro and fouls like that are frustration fouls, feel frustrated?
    Fine, go home and fap it out, stuff like this would draw some flak from teammates even in the amateur league I play, I thought NBA also stands for No Boys Allowed but Pacers played like frustrated teenagers and got called for it like they should…

  16. Amigo says:

    I think this coin has 2 sides like any other coin. Ref supporting MIA (James) traditionally. James is the face of Nike, he must win championship and set up records to sell more shoes. I understand this. Its easy to be defender of the year if they dont call faults on you when you hit your opponent… This is the business aspect which is part of the game since Jordan.
    Ok, there were game 1 where they did not get that support they usually got, but this does not change the fact that generally the refs wear white instead of grey when MIA is playing.

    On the other hand, IND had the chance to win game 2 but they started trashtalk and playing the tough guy instead of playing the game like they did in the first quarter. Vogel also made some mistakes – leaving Scola on the bench too long, leaving out the centers of offense plays, not benching Stephenson when he lost the focus, etc. Same is true for game 3-4. MIA got the calls indeed, but IND did not play on the level to be Eastern champs.

    Based on the above I think MIA will be the Eastern champions and I only hope the refs will not decide the Final – as the opponent will probably be SAS with Popovich, maybe they will let the players and the coaches to decide. If OKC plays the final, nobody will stop the refs and MIA will 3peat.

    This is how I see.

    • TMac says:

      Refs supporting James? And they support him because he is the face of Nike and needs to sell shoes?? You really thing the refs give a hoot about Lebron selling shoes and all that jazz?? It’s not like they are getting any money out of it. Why do the Pacers have more total fouls in this series if the refs are supporting the Heat? Why did Pacers have a HUGE CHANCE to win games 2 and 3 if refs were supporting the Heat? Pacers had the momentum in both of those games until the lost it down the stretch….they had pretty decent leads in both those games….yet, the refs were supporting the Heat??? You telling me the refs supported the Heat when the Pacers were down by 15 at the most in game 3??? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?? Then you pretty much contradict yourself by saying refs support the Heat and Heat got the calls……but then say “Well, Pacers did not play on the level of the Eastern Champs”. Which one is it bro? Did the refs win games for the Heat or did the Pacers not play well enough for 48 minutes each game??

  17. J4CK Nicholson says:

    Pacers should stop whining about the refs (as if it was a game 7) They have all they need (healthy bodies, support from management and fans, mentoring) but I thought they focused too much on what they achieved during the season and forgot about the playoffs, as what happened in the season doesn’t matter anymore.

  18. iamironman says:

    Indy really just dug their own graves in those 50/50 games (G2 & G3). I agree with @Game Time & @TMac because their comments are unbiased. Hibbert plays unmotivated in G4 that’s why he didn’t get touches. Anyway, as history shows, Miami will end this in G5. Miami will hoist that EC trophy in Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

  19. cry says:

    spurs should beat okc first…..spurs are excellent,but showing weakness right now

  20. Yusa says:

    If you thought Pacers could had those Game 2 and 3, then you’re wrong. Heat has two of the most deadliest weapon of the 3rd and 4th quarter In addition of the top tier veterans they have. If they want to win those game they would and they did, They already proved that since big 3 era also in playoff game and one of the evidence is the Game 6 of the last year finals. And also if you thought that the Pacers can win 3 times in a row? They you might start dreaming because not only few people trailed in 3-1 series but the heat never lose two times in a row for quite a decent time now in a playoff series.

  21. LMAO says:

    same with game 1. but did the heat whine about it? no. they stepped up and played. both are good teams, only difference is the heat knows how to win while the pacers knows how to celebrate in regular season like they’ve won it all. LMAO

  22. Bryant24 says:

    The Switch on game 3, West guarding Ray was stupid, sorry for my French, but it was not a great idea, that cost us the game and west need to play like he used to when he was in New Orleans.

  23. Bryant24 says:

    I believe Pacers could be a champion team, they just need to Focus on the game, naa whining over calls the refs are the king of the game so just focus on the game play like men naa like Kids, grow up and be a man. Paul one of the best Pacers player of today need to step up and play D. Lance great player great D on D-wade, Hibbert needs more to work on, they need him, so step up.

  24. Pete says:

    To Reuben maybe this will answer your question http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/10988656/2014-nba-playoffs-roy-hibbert-says-game-plan-key-goose-egg

    To Christian not being allowed to so much as breathe on your opponent – that’s called the Kobe Bryant rule.

  25. tim thurow says:

    GO THUNDER!!! I hope its heat and thunder in finals

  26. MidD says:

    The problem is not just Paul, Lance or Roy. It is with the entire Pacer organization. Here are my observations.
    1. Larry Bird, the former executive of the year, traded away the team’s back bone, Danny Granger, a guy that used to be the face of the franchise, who not only would have provided leadership in the locker room but would have been a formidable sixth man for the team. Great Larry also brought in Andrew Bynum, maybe to made sure Miami does not have him to neutralize Roy Hibert at the center. Well why did Larry think that both Philly and Cleveland let Bynum go?

    2. Frank Vogel, the coach in his zeal to insteel confidence in his fragile locker room, sold the idea to the young boys that they are actually better than a proven championship team. By so doing he deprived the team the ability to respect the competition. Well, if you don’t respect a team like the Miami Heat, the Great LeBron James and the future all of famer D. Wade. You are lacking an important tool you need to compete with them at the level required to beat them.

    3. The Players, this bunch no respect for the game of basketball. They lack knowledge of the history of the game. How else can one explain that Paul George and more particularly Lance Stevenson will disrespect LeBron James as much as they do? I know some will like to say that, there is still much work to be done by LeBron, and this I don’t disagree with, but should God forbid LeBron stopped playing basketball today, he will still go down as one of the greatest to every play the game of basketball. As of today he is definitely in the top 10 all-time greats.

    Finally, here is my two cents: Danny Granger is gone and there is very little chance he will be back. so forget about that. Larry Bird need to call one very important meeting. He must give his team a history lesson abut NBA. This team has to know and respect the history of the game
    Frank Vogel must find ways to motivate his team without giving them too much false confidence. This team must have a proper dose of respect for the competition. Of course, noting can be done this year, it is too late now. And I am not sure Vogel is capable of this task….. Again Larry, food for taught.
    Player, you cannot cheat the process, you cannot disrespect the game and the game greats and expect to attain great heights. Be humble. This team will probably never do it but at least you might have a chance

  27. okc2014 says:

    I’m going to say Pacers will win in Indiana. Then the Heat will bring it home. Literally. And that makes me sad.

  28. Reuben says:

    So whats the excuse for Roys zero points?

  29. ITS OVER HEAT’S IN THE FINALS….LETS GO THUNDER

  30. TMac says:

    @ there will be NO 3peat…..I’m not going to go and forth about who will win the finals because I honestly don’t know….but to say Miami has no big men is false….Birdman and Lewis have been playing big boy ball pretty well against Indiana’s bigs. Have you seen Miami’s defense against the bigs?? Miami beat Spurs playing small ball last year…..and can only imagine what it will be like for the Spurs when Miami mixes it up like they are doing with the Pacers. Miami is playing athletic and fast paced team basketball….Spurs will struggle and could possibly lose again….just saying…

    • TMac says:

      Oops…I meant “I’m not going to go back and forth about who will win the finals.”

  31. Christian says:

    In some ways I can understand what the Pacers players were talking about. I’m a Thunder fan but I felt bad for the Pacers because the refs were obviously giving the game away to Miami. At some points it seriously felt like i was watching WWE wrestling because it was so obvious the calls were one sided. It wasn’t so much about the amount of calls that the refs called, it was simply the fact that the Heat could tackle the Pacers players and get away with it, while if anyone looked like they were breathing too hard on “King” Lebron, “Princess” Wade, or “Prince” Bosh, they would be immediately called for a foul. The calls were bad but I also see what Vogel is saying, “guys we can’t control that anyways so let’s focus on the things we can control”… Good coaching right there!

    • Game Time says:

      Tackle the Pacers, really? I don’t even think you were watching the game last night. You must have been watching wrestling while wearing beer goggles.

    • TMac says:

      Again…did you watch game one when Miami had twice as many fouls called on them than the Pacers?
      Did you watch game 2 and 3 when Pacers blew a potential 3-1 lead in the series over the Heat?
      Do you watch Pacers defense….they play seriously aggressive on defense as well but hardly ever get called consistently for it…but when Miami starts doing it, they want to run and cry “Unfair!”. I even remember PG whining awhile back about refs punishing them for being aggressive….yeah, when refs finally call fouls on their rough defense , he wanted to whine about it……and coincidently, this was when they started declining in their performance down the stretch in the regular season.

  32. Sam BBL says:

    Correction!!!
    Implement the challenging system as well as other sports, i.e. NFL & Hard court (not clay) Tennis. That will end the ref’s dictation. Human made error (s), that ‘s inevitable

  33. Sam BBL says:

    Implement the challenging system as well as other sports, i.e. NFL & Clay Tennis. That will end the ref’s dictation. Human made error (s), that ‘s inevitable.

  34. Atlantico says:

    The spurs are playing its better season since 2007. Just they need to sit Parker and enhance defense.

  35. ForeverFan says:

    I don’t think anyone should be surprised that this is a 3-1 series with the way the Pacers played the last two rounds. King James going for 40 tomorrow to close out the deal.

  36. Funny Paul George Didn’t to see anything wrong with the officiating in Game one that they won and had twice the calls go there way at home.I guess that was home cooking two.Relax grow up and just play the game. At the end of the day the best team usually wins.

  37. standard says:

    hibbert blaming someone else for his lack of play
    clasic selfish guy
    and he told that to stephenson first

  38. NotSoSure says:

    One of the most one-sided officiated games I’ve seen in some time. I imagine it can be very discouraging to realize you not only have to beat the other teams but the refs as well. The NBA continues to slide right down the toilet. Let both teams play hard, you f’n idiots, not just the favorite.

    • TMac says:

      Lopsided games you have seen in some time? Did you watch the officiating in game 1?? Probably not. You are actually wrong about the favorite….after game one, the Pacers were crowned the favorite by a landslide.

      • TMac says:

        *One of the most one-sided games you have seen in sometime?*

        Also, did you happen to watch games 2 and 3 when Pacers had ample opportunity to blow this series out of the water but blew it all away??

  39. TheKush says:

    To me Vogel is the problem. Lance Stevenson is clearly the alpha dog in that locker room which is why I thought moving Granger was a bad move. I don’t know the specifics of that trade however the end result is what we’re seeing now. There’s no veteran leadership and Lance Stevenson as good as he is shouldn’t be the center of the offense the ball is in his hands too much. Finally Hill played decent, I think that loss could be a blessing in disguise if the Pacers can wake up and watch film from game one. I just don’t understand why Vogel has allowed the Pacers to lose their identity.

    Last year OKC lost their identity when westbrook got injured it appears that the Pacers lost their identity when Granger got traded. Employers often learn the hard way the impact that firing a good employee for monetary purposes can have on an organization. If the Pacers lose this series which I never expected I would point out that Granger trade. David West is the only respected veteran in that locker room Granger to me was the balance. lance Stevenson controls vogel they both grew up in the New York city area so i’m certain Lance can talk to him the way no other player can. I dunno man indiana only needs to win three straight against the champs and they got this right? find your identity Pacers live and die by it.

  40. Simmo says:

    It’s a good time to be a Heat fan.

  41. Game Time says:

    Pacers are a good team, but they will never be a championship team until they realize you need a guy that is going to get you 25pts a night and can’t be stopped from doing it. PG can be that guy, but he’s still too young. Also the complaints about calls baffles me because Lance stated before the game he’s been trying to rough up James. Any how the FT per game have been
    39 – 15 , 15 – 18 , 25 – 20, 17 – 34 with a total of 97 for Indy and 87 for Miami and with Miami up 3-1 you can’t say the game is being won at the FT line if the losing team is shooting more FTs.

  42. TMac says:

    I’m sorry, but the Pacers are NOT winning three games in a row. They had plenty of opportunities to stick it to the Heat this series….it could possibly be 3-2 in Pacers favor right now…..but should, coulda, woulda. They know it is over so they are blaming the refs…..so are they blaming the refs for their win in game 1, too??

    • TMac says:

      Sorry, I meant it could possibly be 3-1 in Pacers favor.

      • there will be NO 3peat says:

        ur right. the pacers are mentally fragile right now. they will probably win game 5, and come out strong in game 6, but the second the refs butt in they will fall apart on the road. doesnt matter anyways who wins tho, because nobody is beating the spurs. they destroy teams with no big man, and miami has 0. okc came out strong in game 3 but the spurs will adjust and win the next 2. they have been playing on a whole other level then anybody, and miami has not had a challenge like them in a few months. last year the spurs were not the team to beat but everybody made them favorites in the playoffs because they had not lost a finals yet. this year, they are the team to beat and will beat miami in 5-6 and pacers in 4…miami just has the offensive edge to make it a better series, but its no their year.

      • I'm Right says:

        Miami will 3peat because of one reason: Lebron James #witness